Name Phone Number License Plate VIN
Name Phone Number License Plate VIN

Jail Records Definition

Jail records provide information about individuals who have spent time in jail. They can be used to review current inmate status and may also provide details on prior inmates. To obtain these records online, it is necessary to have the first and last name of the incarcerated person. Jail records are provided by counties, cities and states. If these records are not available online, they may be accessed at local law enforcement facilities. This option is less likely and results are not produced immediately.

Jail Records Search

It is usually possible to locate jail records on the Internet. Online public record repositories ( like ) are a great place to start. You can find criminal records, arrest records, jail and inmate records and much more information with a simple name search. If you need to obtain a physical copy then there are many government agencies that you can resource online or in person. In most cases, basic jail record information can be obtained without paying any sort of fee. More in-depth information may be obtained by paying for criminal background checks. This is typically done by employers, property managers and other agencies who need to obtain information on an individual.

Jail Records vs. Prison Records

The process of finding jail records may differ from the process of finding prison records. People often mistake jail for prison and vice versa. There are distinct differences between these facilities. Some of the most common differences are:

  • Jails are designed for short term holding of inmates and non-inmates, and prisons are designed for long term inmate housing.
  • To expand on the above statement, jails hold individuals who are awaiting sentencing. They also hold individuals who are serving short sentences for misdemeanor crimes and convicted individuals who are waiting to be transferred to a prison facility.
  • Prisons house individuals who are convicted of felony crimes and sentenced to incarceration. In most cases, individuals are sent to prison if their sentence is one year or longer.
  • Jails are generally operated by local government and sheriffs. Prisons are run by states or by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
  • On a daily basis, more individuals go to jail than to prison. Jails tend to house individuals immediately after they are arrested. They may be in jail anywhere from a few hours to a few days.


Additional Jail Records Information

Jail Records Search

County Jail Finder

State Prison Finder

Inmate Finder

Jail and Correctional Statistics

Jail Records
Jail Records

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